Quality of Service

What Does Quality of Service Mean?

Quality of service (QoS) refers to a network’s ability to achieve maximum bandwidth and deal with other network performance elements like latency, error rate and uptime. Quality of service also involves controlling and managing network resources by setting priorities for specific types of data (video, audio, files) on the network. QoS is exclusively applied to network traffic generated for video on demand, IPTV, VoIP, streaming media, videoconferencing and online gaming.

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Techopedia Explains Quality of Service

As the number of Internet users continues to grow, network performance requirements must increase right along with them. In addition, many of the latest online services require high amounts of bandwidth and network performance. Network performance is an element of concern both for the user and the service provider. Internet service providers need to apply techniques and technologies to provide the best service possible before their competitors beat them to it.

The primary goal of quality of service is to provide priority to networks, including dedicated bandwidth, controlled jitter, low latency and improved loss characteristics. Its technologies supply the elemental building blocks that will be used for future business applications in campus, wide area networks and service provider networks.

There are three fundamental components for basic QoS implementation:

  • Identification and marking techniques for coordinating QoS from end to end between network elements
  • QoS within a single network element
  • QoS policy, management, and accounting functions to control and administer end-to-end traffic across a network
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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.